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JIRA restore from XML - How to determine compatible JIRA versions


I need to upgrade several JIRA instances in different versions (6.x and 7.x) to the latest current version (8.3.x) and wonder what intermediate steps might be necessary when using XML backups. Can an XML backup of version 6.x (i guess not) or 7.x (I guess yes) directly be imported into an empty 8.3.x instance?

I already searched with google and directly at atlassian documentation but I was not able to found something like an official compatibility matrix.

Any hint would be very much appreciated!

Best Regards,


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Hi @Christian_Schlaefcke 

You guess is correct. You need to do temporary upgrades before moving to the latest version of Jira. For exact upgrade path take a look here:

It is a bit difficult to find this page, I am not sure if you found it. From the latest 7.x version (Not from 7.0)  you can upgrade to 8.x version.

Also make sure you add-ons are compatible or at least you know about the changes so users are not surprised.

I hope it goes well.


Ah - that was the missing link :-) Not sure why the most desired information is collapsed here:

Bildschirmfoto 2019-09-05 um 19.48.35.png

I indeed already visited this page :-) Thank you & Best Regards,



Just to confirm, we can upgrade Jira Server from 7.12.3 to 8.x version using the xml backup method.

Previously we have upgraded without using the xml backup method. Just wanted to be sure that this works and is there anything we need to factor in - apart form the fact that we bypass the proxy to avoid timeout errors.

Many thanks & best regards


Andy_Heinzer Atlassian Team Sep 27, 2019

Hi Varun,

The XML restore method still works to restore those versions. The biggest thing most people forget is that you should restore the avatars and attachments in the $JIRAHOME/data/ folder BEFORE you do the XML import in the setup wizard of Jira. 

This is needed in order to make sure that these flat files can be processed correctly when Jira is doing the upgrade.  Not all upgrades require this, but sometimes naming conventions change and if those files are not found in the specified directory at the time Jira imports and upgrades this data, there isn't an easy way to make Jira update those files without having to do the upgrade again.


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